With great memories of last year’s inaugural festival, The Good Life Experience Festival is thrilled to announce Wilko Johnson as the Friday night headliner to get the party started for the last festival of the summer. Joining him will be Tom Brosseau, Smokey Angle Shades, Wiz Jones, Catrin Finch and Honeyfeet as Cerys Matthews curates a fantastic line-up of world-beating musicians for an unforgettable weekend on the Hawarden Estate, North Wales on 18-19-20 September 2015.
The Good Life Experience is a chance to escape the humdrum; it’s a festival to feed the soul. Co-Founder Cerys Matthews commented: “The Good Life festival is not your average festival. It was designed to offer people the chance to learn and experience new things they’d never tried before, from throwing axes to learning how to dance, do yoga, abseil and cook on a campfire, all on the same day. The festival will offer the best of the great outdoors, music, culture and food in a magical setting surrounded by woodland against the backdrop of a stunning historic castle.”
Wilko Johnson is a singer, guitarist, songwriter and actor, who played with the rhythm and blues band Dr. Feelgood in the 70s, later joined Ian Dury's band, The Blockheads, and most recently starred in cult TV series Game of Thrones. Johnson and Dr Feelgood have been credited as one of the founding influences of the English punk movement, and Paul Weller has said of Johnson: "Wilko may not be as famous as some other guitarists, but he's right up there. And there are a lot of people who'll say the same. I can hear Wilko in lots of places. It's some legacy." Johnson recently played to a sold out Royal Albert Hall with Roger Daltry of The Who, and The Good Life Experience is extremely excited that he will be playing at this year's Good Life Experience on the Friday night.
One of the core values of the festival is an appreciation of The Great Outdoors, and leading this is broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle, who will share the knowledge and skills he has gained from over 15 years of adventure. Poler Outdoor Stuff is also joining the outdoor offering at the festival. Based in Portland, USA, and recently opened in the UK, Poler makes fantastic gear for anyone who loves the outdoors and is looking for kit that looks great, is good value and does the job. Poler will bring their famous ‘Le Tente’ rooftop tent on top of their Land Rover, along with their range of camping goods. After their massive success at last year’s festival, Best Made Co are returning to The Good Life Experience, all the way from New York City. Central to Best Made Co are their beautiful axes, which they create from the ground up by hand in the USA. They will be hosting their own tent, complete with a shop, exhibition and master-classes. Also joining the action-packed festival are some of the team from the sold-out Eroica Britannia cycling festival. The team will host workshops, have their merchandise on offer, and co-founder Gian Bohan will give a talk on the ethos of the Eroica cycling experience. The passionate Eroica team will also lead an adventurous 20-30 mile ride from the festival, where vintage cycling attire will be encouraged.
The Good Life Experience will host campfire-cooking demonstrations from a host of great chefs, including Fabulous Baker Brother Tom Herbert, who was a festival favourite last year. The food demonstrations do not stop there, with Deliciously Ella, Thomasina Miers and Valentine Warner, and many more, joining the line-up.
The Good Life Experience is embracing all things Cuban in its second year. Los Revolucionarios is a sensational all-Cuban band, who have been given the simple brief from festival co-founder Cerys Matthews to 'get the festival dancing'. And returning to The Good Life Experience for the second time, Luis Fernando brings a taste of Cuba to North Wales with the opportunity to sample his amazing hand rolled cigars. All this along with delicious Cuban cocktails means there really will be a taste of Cuba at The Good Life Experience.
On the books and talks side of things, along with Caught by the River and the Dylans Mobile Bookshop, The Idler will bring their Academy of Philosophy, Husbandry and Merriment, a school, coffee house and bookshop to the festival. The Idler offers courses in liberal arts and practical skills, and they will be running drop in classes throughout the weekend. Co-founder of the Idler, Tom, says that 'characteristic of The Idler's work is that it looks suspiciously like play'. Learn something new and have fun doing it – this is all part of the ethos of The Good Life Experience.
On Maker’s Row festival goers will be able to take part in workshops with the help and guidance of skilled craftsmen and craftswomen. There will be leather working with the amazing Lloyd Newman of Enstone Leather, furniture maestro Hugh Miller will teach the basics of making a small box using dovetailing and enamel artist Kate Samuels will give fantastic workshops on making enamel badges. Festival favourites from last year Hatchet + Bear, will return this year to give their amazing spoon carving workshops, and professional illustrator and compulsive scribbler David Setter is bringing his hand cut vinyl art workshop for all ages.
This and much more is The Good Life Experience. Tom Herbert of The Fabulous Baker Brothers described it best when he said of The Good Life Experience 2014: “If Willy Wonka had married Liv Tyler and they had run away with the Circus, then after a life time of beauty, craziness and brilliance they had gathered all their loved ones and dogs and children for a celebration of life with luscious food, the smell of cigars, perfume and wood smoke, and linked arms for and almighty hoedown, then it’d pale in comparison to The Good Life Experience.”